What are ultrasonic cleanings? Posted on September 29, 2011 by trinhdm in Dentist In the past, dental office professionals would rely on traditional instruments like scalers and picks to clean patients’ teeth. Though this method is still effective, our Colleyville dentist can use newer technology to get your teeth clean. Ultrasonic prophylaxis, or cleanings remove plaque and tartar from the teeth using high-frequency sound waves. The dentist or hygienist can use the vibrating tip of the ultrasonic cleaning tool in the same way that a traditional instrument is handled. The sound waves create tiny bubbles enabling the particles that have collected on the teeth to become dislodged. Ultrasonic cleaning instruments can also be used to remove bacteria from pockets that develop in the gums, reducing the risk of advanced periodontal disease. A stream of water must accompany the ultrasonic cleaner, causing it to heat up due to the vibrations of the tip of the tool. The water must be regularly vacuumed from the patient’s mouth. This ultrasonic technique has a number of advantages. Ultrasonic cleanings typically take less time than the traditional approach. Patients who fear dental pain and those who are sensitive to the pressure applied with standard scalers and other dental tools will appreciate ultrasonic cleanings, which are barely noticeable. Ultrasonic cleaners are also easier for hygienists to manipulate. Even with their benefits, ultrasonic instruments may be used to clean teeth in combination with conventional tools. After using the ultrasonic cleaner, the dentist may still clear away any remaining tartar, or calculus, using the standard instruments. The patients’ teeth are polished following the cleaning, as is standard procedure. To get the maximum benefit from an ultrasonic cleaning, be sure to resume your regular brushing and flossing regimen as soon as possible. These activities are essential for keeping your mouth clean between dentist appointments. If you want to get in and out of the dental office in less time, or if tartar develops unusually quickly in your mouth, consider ultrasonic cleanings. Call 817-485-2111 to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists who provide this advanced technology for patients.